The Skinny on Airline Seats

The Skinny on Airline Seats

Article Title: Air Travelers Resisting the ‘Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat’

Author of Article: M. C. White

Date of article: November 6, 2017

Source URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/business/airline-seat.html

This New York Times article illustrates the clash among marketing, finance, and operations strategies in the airline industry.

On one side, marketing departments and consumer advocate groups insist on preserving existing leg room standards.  On the other, revenue management departments push for efficiency-oriented plane redesigns that squeeze more seats into an airplane.

Slimmer seat designs can offer passengers more room. However, they also provide the opportunity to add one or two extra rows without compromising existing leg room.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of including more seats in an airplane?

Guidance: Discussion may focus on unit costs, revenues, number of planes needed, fuel costs, flight attendants’ morale, passengers’ expectations, and/or potential litigation.

2. Do you think the House of Quality framework was used to design the slimmer seats? Can the seats be improved further?

Guidance:  There is evidence the HOQ framework partially guided the design of the seats. The slimmer seat design features conform to customers’ requests for more room, fewer hard points, and better Continue reading

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Biometrics May Reduce Lines at Airport Security

Biometrics May Reduce Lines at Airport Security

Article Title: Passing Through Airport Security with the Touch of a Finger

Author of Article: C. Martin

Date of article: September 8, 2017

Source URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/business/airport-security.html

A company called Clear is working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in US airports to implement biometrics. The plan is to reduce congestion at airport security checkpoints. The biometrics involved are fingerprints and iris scans, and they would help some flyers bypass the document-verification step of the TSA’s screening process. The roll-out has been slower than expected, but 24 airports are currently using Clear’s technology.

Discussion Questions
1. What challenges does Clear face in implementing this new technology?

Guidance: Possible discussion areas include hacking concerns, potential liability issues, how fast the product can be rolled out, acceptance of the technology by flyers, training workers at security checkpoints, and maintaining the technology.

2. Passengers require a speedy screening process and tight airport security. What are some of the technical requirements for Clear’s product?

Guidance: A good opportunity to incorporate House of Quality. Can discuss service quality, and the benefits of lead time reduction.

3. What might a process flow chart look like for TSA screening with and without the Continue reading

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